Despite concerns centering around the recent Brexit vote, Oxford University has come in first place according to the Times Higher Education global rankings.
This is the first time a UK university has taken first place; the past five years, the honor has gone to the California Institute of Technology. This is because its research funding rose 10 percent and its overall funding rose to £1.4 billion ($1.83 billion). The impact of its research increased as well, reports Peter Hobson of Reuters.
Schools from the US are dominating the top 10 and top 20 lists, including Stanford, Harvard, Princeton, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
London’s Imperial College and Cambridge also made the top ten list.
St. Andrews University in Scotland and Sheffield University fell out of the top 100.
88 British universities made the top 800, which amounts to ten more than last year. In this way, Britain is only second to the US in its world-class education rankings.
British education officials are worried about the possibility of reduced research funding and top academics leaving Britain for other schools.
Oxford vice-chancellor Louise Richardson told BBC radio that:
“Our concern is that our academics who are at Oxford might decide to leave if they are concerned that they may not be able to get their research funded in the future. There are many universities in the world who would be thrilled to have them and who are approaching them and asking them if they would return to their universities instead.”
Currently, Oxford University receives £67 million from the European Research Council, and it’s likely to simply lose the funding when Britain withdraws from the European Union.
The 17% of university staff who are not British nationals have an uncertain future as well because they are currently unsure of their long-term status in Britain., reports Christina Beck of the Christian Science Monitor.
Another world university ranking list released by QS World University Rankings had top UK schools fall down through the list overall. Cambridge University dropped from third place for the first time since 2004.
According to the Guardian British education secretary Justine Greening said:
“We want to see this success continue and provide real opportunities for students up and down the country. That is why we are reforming higher education to make sure it delivers the quality teaching and skills that students and employers expect.”
The UK is the world’s second-most popular destination for students who go to university outside of their own country.
Asian universities are catching up on the rankings. The National University of Singapore came in at 24th place, and China’s two leading universities, Peking and Tsinghua, made it into the top 40.
The rankings are judged on factors like teaching, research, and industry income.
Oxford University is the oldest university in the English-speaking world.